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  • Laying new floorboards
  • Premier Icon g5604
    Free Member

    Our dinning room has very old carpet over very wonky, badly cut floorboards. I would love a wood floor, but money is very tight. Does it make sense to lay new floorboards? I guess I can leave the skirting, which should save some money. Where do I buy the floorboards from and is this an easy DIY job?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    You can lay new boards but you’re likely to have to sand them to get them level before you put a surface finish on them.

    Chances of getting the old boards out with the Skirting in place and undamaged is fairly slim, ime.

    You may find that laying some sort of engineered flooring on top of the existing boards ends up not being a huge extra cost (you can use edge trims to allow a gap near the skirting, for example, so wouldn’t need to touch the skirting)

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    I’d be looking at installing an engineered [oak or whatever] floor.Probably not difficult but then IANAJ.

    I presume you have a suspended floor, in which case you should add the cost of putting some insulation under the floor while you’re in there.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I laid a new floor recently. The previous builder had used a lot of cheap chip board for flooring, of which this was the last lot and now all rooms have proper floor boards.

    I bought all the planks from the local builder’s merchant, about £250 IIRC. You can phone around and get quotes. A trade account helps (normally free to open) and you get a good discount on timber.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/orS8Ry]New floor boards[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    Bedroom and hallway with new floors

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/ox2UuK]All done….[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    I used the opportunity re-wire the room, add CAT-5, tidy up pipework and repair woodworm damage to the joists. All here if you’re interested: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brf/albums/72157646489433031

    My biggest mistake was finishing when tired, I put a screw through the main CH feed with the last plank! It was right on a bend as well, so a PITA to repair…

    Premier Icon project
    Free Member

    Get a floorboard lifter to lift the boards without to much effort, the old ones can be cut up for fire wood, its a killer on the knees refiting new boards so wear knee pads, screwing them down is easier and causes less bruising to the wood floor, then fill after, they will need sanding , get in a floor sanding company to do that, they have the gear and the vacumn cleaner to take the dust away.

    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Landscaping/d130/Ground+Working+Tools/sd2822/Roughneck+Demolition+%26+Lifting+Bar/p63005

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I used these screws, really impressive given how narrow their heads are. They can pull a bowed floor board flat, yet they are virtually invisible once in, but you can still get them out easily…

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/tongue-tite-screws-3-5-x-45mm-200-pack/85991

    Premier Icon g5604
    Free Member

    great, thanks all!

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Free Member

    See, I was taught to nail floorboards. Specifically with a nail gun. Lay floorboard with the “open” side being the tongue and not the groove, and then fire the nails in diagonally through the tongue into the joists. The force of the nail really pushes the groove of the current floorboard into the tongue of the previous one, so no gaps at all, and there are no visible marks on the top of the board for a nicer finish.

    Like this:

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    See, I was taught to nail floorboards. Specifically with a nail gun

    PITA if you have to take them up though.

    I’ve had every floor in our house up at some point to add / move radiators, add new sockets, add CAT-5 etc etc

    Premier Icon zbonty
    Full Member

    Need to do this in our house. Cheapo laminate flooring on top of dubious floorboards downstairs so plenty of flexi-noodling underfoot in places.

    Just as bad upstairs. I looked under the carpet and one board was split in four pieces and had a curious bodge- to cover a wallet sized hole ‘they’ had flattened a coke can out and nailed it over the gap. Wafer thin ali- that well known load bearing material 🙄

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    My biggest gripe is seeing big gouges created near the top of joists sometimes the pipework is not even below the top of the joist it creates creaky flooring and leads to risk of nail or screw through the pipe. I like to see a hole drilled middle of the joist, pipework level and plumb some plumbers dont give a toss.
    I had a boiler fitted once pipe work looked pissed as a fart and the “heating eng” wondered what the problem was as long as it disnae leek was his answer

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    If you are the sort of person lays their own floor then your probably the sort who will need top pull it up at some point for some reason…

    Owning one of those houses described above … we had cardboard not a coke can and the downstairs living room the joists were not even screwed down… and after pulling it up the sewerage outlet was fixed the wrong way and the pipe balanced on a mix of rubble and bits of wood…. (I could go on but I’ll stop)

    Anyway… given I usually do stuff myself it means you don’t always do everything at once .. weekends just don’t last so stuff like flooring I make sure it comes up easy and without breaking so I can go back and do the next bit…

    Skirting is cheap compared to floorboards … not per area but by definition it’s only needed round the edges… and you can get a lot of value/£ (IMHO) actually changing it and architraves…

    The oak veneered stuff looks the part .. its also handy as you can make channels in the back easily for wires and such with a handheld router.

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    My biggest mistake was finishing when tired, I put a screw through the main CH feed with the last plank! It was right on a bend as well, so a PITA to repair…

    😳 did this in my last house, the room downstairs with the brand new ceiling (kitchen) was soaked, just as well i hadn’t fitted the down lights as it managed to drain out without any damage. The father in law (builder), looked at me in disgust.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    I’m about to replace about 38m^2 of downstairs floorboards with damp-proof chipboard all round. The cost of replacing the worst boards and ply sheeting the lot is more than just ripping the lot up, insulating underneath and replacing with chipboard. It’s also much easier and will give a level surface all round that can have whatever laid on top.

    Lifes too short when you’re living in the house that Jack built.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Full Member

    Firstly, you need to avoid the whitewood boards that are sold undried from timber yards (very common and much cheaper than redwood board that are probably plastic wrapped); if you lay this stuff you will end up with 5mm gaps between the boards when they shrink.
    My experience of engineered hardwood boards is that they are no more stable than solid boards being made up of layers of the crappiest would imaginable (unless you pay £50/sqm plus). If I were you I would get some solid oak (£30/sqm), hire a Portanailer which nails through the tongue and pulls the boards tightly together and lay it as an overlay ontop of existing.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    Unless its money youre spending, there could be a tendency for the boards to cup(bend)
    Secret nailing (from the side, pic above) holds better to prevent it.

    Premier Icon sandboy
    Free Member

    If using softwood t&g boards its a good idea to leave the boards in the room they are to be laid for a couple of weeks, this will help with reducing the gaps due to shrinkage. Heating the room will also help but ensure its only a gentle heat with ventilation.

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